If you’ve ever played any MMORPG, or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, then you have experienced the addiction factor that usually comes with it. Whether it’s a large addiction, like canceling plans and not leaving your house just to finish those few quests that will level your disproportioned cartoon character, or a smaller addiction, like thinking it about every time you are away from your computer, it can affect and unbalance your life in horrible ways.
Video games can be categorized as one of the main causes of sleep loss and deprivation in teenagers and young adults. The sleep deprivation then affects the quality of work you can do and the amount of time you can focus. Playing these addicting games such as World of Warcraft, Rift, Guild Wars, and many others, affects your entire day.
So why are they so addicting? When playing any game like that, I always end up playing until the early hours of the morning, and then my entire day, if not my week, are screwed up. I can’t pinpoint exactly why these games keep me and others like me captivated, staring at the computer screen for hours on end. I can only speculate.
1. The game play: Playing through several different quests tend to keep people busy. They are so focused on ‘slaying ten Ghostclaw Ravagers’ that they don’t even realize that thirty minutes has passed. The game play can include small quests like this, or larger ‘dungeons’ or ‘instances’ that take hours upon hours. The gameplay is different from normal video games like ‘Grand Theft Auto’ or ‘Call of Duty’ and keeps the player captivated and interested.
2. The social aspect: Playing with other people is the whole center of an MMORPG. It’s what makes them so much different from playing any other game on the computer or other console. Socially awkward people or those with anxiety disorders can find an easy way to socialize and belong to a group of people while not really needing to talk or ‘socialize’ with anyone. MMORPG’s make it easy for someone to have fun playing a game and make new friends, maybe even half way across the world. And who doesn’t want a friend that lives in Scotland?
3. The RPG aspect: Role playing games are some of the most fun games out there, in my opinion. It gives players the ability to step into someone else’s shoes completely and live a life they can only dream of. Role playing in general is an easy way to avoid reality. Most everyone wants to step out of reality at some point, so why not have some fun while you’re doing it?
4. Fantasy: Almost all MMORPG games are set in made-up fantasy worlds that consist of purple trees and elf-people with huge ears. And not only that, but character creation is almost a MUST in one of these games. Creating your own elf-person with huge ears and glowing eyes can be considered fun to anyone. And then you get to run around in cool-looking armor and kill things with a giant sword. The most fun ever.
There’s a lot of research done on why MMORPG’s seem to be more addictive than other games. There are several factors that are put into it, including factoring in things like the audience the games are targeting and the graphics of the game. All I know is that game developers are making bank on these adolescent and even mature adults who pay fifteen dollars a month to run around in the little cartoon world with other people and kill beasts. Maybe it makes them feel powerful. Who knows! All I know is that they’re really fun!